Pretty soon, you’ll be unwrapping boxes and reveling in gifts—but as you do so, don’t forget to thank the gift giver. There is no better way of doing so than by penning a thank you note.
Yes, the thank you note—once a staple of American social etiquette, today relegated to history books and Jimmy Fallon bits. According to recent research, some 75 percent of Americans believe thank you notes to be antiquated and obsolete—though it’s worth noting that this leaves a full quarter of Americans who still expect a thank you note when they give a gift.
At Grammar Chic, we are decidedly pro thank you note. Speaking personally, my mother always carved out time for thank you notes in the aftermath of Christmas and birthdays, and would stand looking over my shoulder until the notes were completed.
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They may not be “necessary,” according to most Americans, but they are polite—and what’s more, they are simple and easy ways to show kindness, to express gratitude, and to help gift givers know that they affected you in some way. People won’t always remember how you thanked them in person, but they will remember a sincere and well-constructed note of gratitude.
Consider thank you note writing this holiday season—and as you do so, use these tips to ensure that your thank you notes resonate.
Writing the Perfect Thank You Note
- A thank-you note should always be handwritten. Remember that the whole point of this is to provide personal expressions of gratitude, and something you type loses some of that human touch.
- Generally, it’s good manners to mail your thank you note within a week of receiving a gift. The exception is a scenario where you receive a lot of gifts at one time, like a wedding or a baby shower, in which case more time is permitted.
- The stationery you choose matters! A nice piece of writing paper adds panache to your thank you note, and turns it into something the recipient will truly treasure.
- Begin your note with a greeting, conveying who you’re thanking.
- Start your message with “thank you,” and keep things fairly brief from there. Convey a few specifics if you can, making it clear that the message is personalized—not boilerplate.
- End your thank you note by telling the person you look forward to seeing them again soon, and state your thanks once more before signing your name.
Above all, be sweet and sincere.
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